Friday, 22 May 2009

Great iPhone App For Nikon Shooters

I've been using a handy little app on my iPhone lately. It comes in two versions at the moment, but more cameras, lenses, and flashguns are due soon. The next camera will be the new Nikon D5000.

The apps are clones of the Nikon D3 or D300 menu's. You navigate through the menus on your iPhone just like you do on the camera, but when you reach the end of the particular menu item, there is a description of what it actually does. It cost very little and is a great point of reference. Buy it on iTunes or go to the website at

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Nikon D300 Discontinued....D400???

The fantastic Nikon D300 has been discontinued (so has the D60) and rumors are now starting to come from more reliable sources that the D400 is on the way. The rumored spec on the D400 (if that's what it would be called) is:

HD movie funtion with stereo sound. * 16-18mp sensor (DX format). * Articulated screen (like the D5000). * Better ISO performance (at least as good as the D90).

Friday, 8 May 2009

DIY Reflectors:: Part 3

Lastolite TriGrip reflectors are fantastic, but not the cheapest. If money is tight or you need more than one on:

You’ll need one of the mount boards like we used in part 2. A craft knife and a roll of silver sticky back plastic covering (available from hardware shops). Place the board on the floor and cut a shape like the one in pic 1. Take the two largest pieces that you have cut off and trim them to use as strengtheners for the handle.

When you have cut the shape required, cover one side with the silver stick back plastic and trim it to size using the craft knife.

Take the two largest scrap pieces and trim and shape them to fit at the narrow end of the board. Cut a hole in one for a hand grip. Now place both together and use the knife to cut an identical hole in the other one. Place one of the handles on the main board and cut another identical hole through that to. Cover one handle with the sticky back plastic, wrapping it round and tucking it under.

Glue the handles on each side of the board and you now have a handheld reflector, silver on one side and white on the other.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

DIY Reflectors:: Part 2

Most art and craft shops sell large pieces of plastic mounting board. They have a dense foam inside, sandwiched between a couple of sheets of smooth white plastic and are very lightweight. I’ve used these before and they give of a nice soft reflection. You will need two of these plastic boards.Lay one board down flat in front of you in a landscape position and cut it in half. Now cut the top of both of these halves at an angle (as shown in pic 1). I simply measured 6” down each side to give me the angle required. Discard the two small pieces. Now place the large piece (the full sized one) in the middle of the two halves and butt them against each other so it looks like one large board.

Tape the left and right sides together down the seam using white (or silver) gaffer tape. Now fold both outer pieces in as if you were closing double doors. Tape down the edge (pic 2), then lift the full thing up and wrap the tape around the back. The tape acts as a hinge.

You now have a self standing three way reflector. You can stand it up on the flat end and use it as a horizontal three way reflector. Or you can stand it up on the angled end for a tilted reflector.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

DIY Reflectors:: Part 1

This is part 1 of a 3 part credit crunch/economic downturn (call it what you like) blog on DIY reflectors. Today’s reflector is not so much DIY as it is BIY (buy it yourself). We’ll get around to actually making stuff in part 2 & 3, but I’ll start off simple.

You can buy a thermal windscreen/windshield cover at most supermarkets or auto spares shops for very little money. They tend to be silver on one side and white on the other. Although they won’t stand up on their own you can wrap them round (or glue or staple) a piece of card or board or even lay them on the ground or over something. They fold or roll up really small and are very handy to keep in your kit bag. They also tend to have a hook at each side on the end of a piece of elastic, which can be handy for hanging up or attaching around something like a tree or fence.

For part 2 & 3 you will need the folowing:

3x sheets of mount board (dens foam sandwiched between two sheets of thin pvc). 1x craft knife. 1x silver sticky back plastic. 1x roll of white gaffer tape. 1x measuring tape or ruler.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

James Nachtwey:: War Photographer

"I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony.
The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated".

James Nachtwey is one of the worlds best war photographers, with a career that spans decades. He has been the subject of a documentary (simply called War Photographer) which is available on DVD.
Take a look at this clip on YouTube, but be warned, it contains scenes of death

Monday, 4 May 2009

The Best Camera Is The One You Have With You

I’ve been carrying a camera with me at all times for about 5 months. I suppose technically I’ve been doing that for years - if you count the camera on your mobile phone. But for the past 5 months I’ve been using the Canon G9 as my ‘go everywhere camera’. I’m a Nikon DSLR shooter, but it’s hard to take that, a couple of lenses and a flash everywhere you go.

The G9 is a real piece of kit, well built 12.1 megapixel camera with an f2.8-4.8 lens. the HD movie function is fantastic (especially when it’s mounted on a gorilla pod). If it’s low light conditions, I’ll film in black & white as the digital noise looks more like grain than in colour. One of the best features on the G9 and other point & shoot cameras is the macro function. Ron Brinkmann did a blog on his site last week on point & shoot macro that is well worth taking a look at

Friday, 1 May 2009

Spend Time With Other Photographers

Last night I visited my friend John McPake of The Big Picture. With 43 years of being a professional photographer, John is a melting pot of information and he's as enthusiastic today as he was all those years ago when he showed me around his studio when I was around 15 years old. I remember how charged I was back then, how keen I was to get out and shoot some black and white 35mm film and then watching the prints appear and then darken in the developer. Well it's 28 years later and I felt the exact same feeling last night when I left John's a digital way though!

The point I'm trying to make is as the title of this blog says "spend time with other photographers". If your as lucky as I am to know someone like John, then give them a call and get together. Or join a camera club or even take a photography night class at your local collage. I guarantee it will give you the urge to go out and shoot more pictures, and the more you shoot, the better you get.

A New Month and a New Blog

This is post number 1 of my new blog. I have a good idea of what I want to do here, but nothing is set in stone. It might take a few weeks to settle into a regular structure so hang in there and send me your comments and suggestions. I'll be blogging on gear (new and old), tips and tricks, projects, news and even the odd book review. If you ended up here from a link other than my website, have a look at .